Kevin Gene Purcell passed away from complications of Parkinson’s disease Saturday, July 27, 2019, at Providence Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, surrounded by his loving family.
Kevin was born Aug. 8, 1960, to Ronald G. Purcell and Shirley Mullikin, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lewiston. Kevin attended school in Clarkston, graduating in 1978. During his time in school, he lettered in cross country, wrestling, football and baseball. His junior year, he was elected to attend Boys State. After graduation, he went to work at Potlatch Corp., currently known as Clearwater Paper. Kevin took a lot of pride as a papermaker and was constantly making suggestions to improve the machines and save the company some money. Because of these suggestions, he was awarded two family trips, to Disneyland and to Las Vegas. In 2005, Kevin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and had to take medical retirement.
On June 21, 1980, Kevin married the love of his life, Mary Rowden, at Holy Family Parish, and the adventures began. In 1981, their oldest daughter, Tara Lee, was born, followed a year later by a second daughter, Charity Elizabeth. He thought his family was complete, but in 1990 a bonus child was added to their family, Jeremy Lee Hassett. On July 21 this year, Kevin finally felt his family was complete when we asked Jeremy if we could make him legally ours. He was a proud parent who lovingly encouraged, complimented and disciplined his children. Kevin instilled his adventurous spirit in each of his children, giving them the confidence to try to do anything that they want.
Kevin loved life — everything was an adventure. He was never lost, just checking out the scenery. Kevin will always be our “Ray of Sunshine” as he was often described by the people he met. He laughed every day and found joy in almost everything he did. He was very creative and could write the most heartfelt letters and poems. Kevin loved fishing and hunting, always coming home with the best stories of his time with his guys.
Kevin was very athletic. He loved to play racquetball, bicycling and both water and snow skiing and putting to shame the college kids when he would swan dive from Granite Rock. He played adult league softball and even won an arm-wrestling championship.
Kevin’s greatest pride were his children and grandchildren. He loved nothing more than being in their presence. He felt he developed Parkinson’s at such a young age so he could spend more time with his grandsons. He thrived and looked forward to every time the grandsons came to visit. He loved how wild and adventurous they were. Each of the boys carry something of him within them.
Kevin was honest, open and his integrity was beyond reproach. He would do anything for anyone and was an example of how to live life to the fullest in the moment.
After his medical retirement, he spent a lot of time with his wife while she was working at Holy Family. It was during this time that he found true peace and faith and surprised her by being baptized and becoming Catholic.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters Tara Lee (Brandon) Lysne and Charity Elizabeth Purcell; son Jeremy Lee Hassett; grandsons Elijah David Waits, Gabriel Gene Waits and Ronin Kevin Michael Lysne; mother Shirley Purcell; brother Steve (MaryLea) Purcell; sisters Carol Rogers, Pam (Mitch) Benedict and Patty (Mark) Besst; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Kevin was preceded in death by his father, Ronald Gene Purcell; and sister Christy Ann DeBoer.
A celebration of life Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Parish, located at 11th and Chestnut in Clarkston. It will be officiated by the Rev. Richard A Root. A luncheon will follow in the new parish hall. A private burial will take place Monday evening at the Peola Pioneer Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Lewis Clark Valley Parkinson’s Resource Center, located at 731 Fifth St., Clarkston, WA 99403.
Forever & Longer.